Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

TikTok Says the Trump Administration Has Forgotten About Trying to Ban It, Would Like to Know What’s Up

Hey, remember how, about six weeks ago, there was no concern more pressing for the now-outgoing Trump administration — in the middle of a pandemic — than selling TikTok to an American company, kind of? You remember, I remember, TikTok remembers — but the U.S. government apparently forgot to finish clearing the sale with the Chinese government, and the deadline is Thursday.

Sam Byford, the Verge:

TikTok has filed a petition in a US Court of Appeals calling for a review of actions by the Trump administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The reason, according to the company, is that it hasn’t heard from the committee in weeks about an imminent deadline for parent company ByteDance to sell off US assets over national security concerns.

Catherine Shu, TechCrunch:

In a statement emailed to TechCrunch, a TikTok spokesperson said it has been working with the CFIUS for a year to address its national security concerns “even as we disagree with its assessment.”

“Facing continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted, we requested the 30-day extension that is expressly permitted in the August 14 order,” the statement continued.

“Today, with the November 12 CFIUS deadline imminent and without an extension in hand, we have no choice but to file a petition in court to defend our rights and those of our more than 1,500 employees in the US.”

I know there’s a lot going on for this administration right now — there’s a pandemic to ignore, a transfer of power to throw a faux-legal tantrum over, a defence department to gut — but I was under the impression that TikTok was a pressing security nightmare that demanded immediate action.